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Thread: Rolex Se-Dweller Comex £195k

  1. #1

    Rolex Se-Dweller Comex £195k

    It's at watchfinder,11 years old only(thought they were a lot older?) and when you remove the comex logo on the dial and the reference number on the back it's a £10k watch..amazes me at that price but after the Newman Daytona people will say it's a bargain.

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  2. #2
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I would have said a lot older than 11yrs also!

    But - surely got better provenance than the so-called "Red" and "Double Red" Subs that people fawn over........................

    They claim: "This Rolex has undergone a thorough inspection of water resistance, accuracy, functionality and condition to determine the level of reconditioning required to meet our strict standards. It has also been referenced against technical documents and manufacturer records where available to ensure authenticity and a clean history. All our watches have a 12-month warranty for your peace of mind."

    Are they saying that it is tested to the rated depth? or just making it sound like it is?
    Last edited by blackal; 23rd February 2020 at 14:54.

  3. #3
    The last of 16600 Comex Seadwellers were delivered in 1997.
    I don’t know how it can be from 2008.
    There are only 200 of these and the last batch of 1997 were only 100. Also the last batch were number from 3300-3399. This one is 3547. So not sure if any more were made.
    So quite rare but someone with more knowledge can reconcile the age of the watch with history.
    PS- seems there was a final batch of 2 Seadwellers and 10 Submariners in 2004.
    Last edited by RAJEN; 23rd February 2020 at 14:57.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Doesn't Haywood have all the serial numbers of these watches?

    Paging Haywood

  5. #5
    I think this has been listed on WF for ages. Not surprised!

  6. #6
    Master
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    There were some later Comex watches than many people realise.

    It says something about the asking price when even Watchfinder's apparently endless train of impatient rich idiots with no market awareness haven't bought it.

  7. #7
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    Serm to recall that later Comex were issued to managers and as gifts rather than the originals that were available to the Sat divers. They are mental overpriced, especially if you know nothing of the history of them.

  8. #8
    Master
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    16600 was available until 2008, 16610 until 2010. Same as the normal references. Presumably COMEX could just order one when/if they wanted.

    Ludicrously overpriced, it's just a logo on a dial...

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    Ludicrously overpriced, it's just a logo on a dial...
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :



    I also have copies of the delivery manifests from Rolex to Comex, detailing both the above watches and all in their batch.

    One of my 5513 / 5514 collection, this among the earliest Comex watches issued -- and correctly not even having a "badge," though it does have an HEV and Comex issue case-back engraving :



    My 16600 "Indiana Jones" (Hollywood history following its Comex days) :



    One of my 16800s :



    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :

    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H
    What an incredible read! Thank you.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by WTRacer View Post
    What an incredible read! Thank you.
    Yes, amazing. Thanks from me also.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Thank you very much for that. It was a most enjoyable read. I could easily picture the various episodes in my minds eye. You are priveliged to know the chap. I would love to hear his stories that he won't tell!

  13. #13
    Master
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    I can also highly recommend the book "Diver" by Tony Groom a former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
    A very enjoyable read.

    maseman

    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :



    I also have copies of the delivery manifests from Rolex to Comex, detailing both the above watches and all in their batch.

    One of my 5513 / 5514 collection, this among the earliest Comex watches issued -- and correctly not even having a "badge," though it does have an HEV and Comex issue case-back engraving :



    My 16600 "Indiana Jones" (Hollywood history following its Comex days) :



    One of my 16800s :



    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H
    - - - Updated - - -

    I can also highly recommend the book "Diver" by Tony Groom a former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
    A very enjoyable read.

    maseman

    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :



    I also have copies of the delivery manifests from Rolex to Comex, detailing both the above watches and all in their batch.

    One of my 5513 / 5514 collection, this among the earliest Comex watches issued -- and correctly not even having a "badge," though it does have an HEV and Comex issue case-back engraving :



    My 16600 "Indiana Jones" (Hollywood history following its Comex days) :



    One of my 16800s :



    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :



    I also have copies of the delivery manifests from Rolex to Comex, detailing both the above watches and all in their batch.

    One of my 5513 / 5514 collection, this among the earliest Comex watches issued -- and correctly not even having a "badge," though it does have an HEV and Comex issue case-back engraving :



    My 16600 "Indiana Jones" (Hollywood history following its Comex days) :



    One of my 16800s :



    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H

    Thanks for sharing!

    I love the 16800, absolutely stunning..

  15. #15
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    16600 was available until 2008, 16610 until 2010. Same as the normal references. Presumably COMEX could just order one when/if they wanted.

    Ludicrously overpriced, it's just a logo on a dial...

    Really?..................

  16. #16
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Nice to see a bit of context in these matters. Lovely collection Haywood

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  17. #17
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    It's not really about the watch or any other equipment he used. It's the story behind it. That's what makes the difference. And I can see why they reach such remarkable prices.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    That charge may perhaps be levelled at some of the later watches, although even they will have unique case-backs as well of course.

    Earlier Comex watches have a deserving history, unique and collectible features, measurable rarity and often the most interesting of provenance. I'd be delighted to buy more such watches!

    My 1665 twins with very close case numbers, both believed to have been presented following a famous rescue and one of them coming from a diver who supposedly spent more time in saturation than any other :



    I also have copies of the delivery manifests from Rolex to Comex, detailing both the above watches and all in their batch.

    One of my 5513 / 5514 collection, this among the earliest Comex watches issued -- and correctly not even having a "badge," though it does have an HEV and Comex issue case-back engraving :



    My 16600 "Indiana Jones" (Hollywood history following its Comex days) :



    One of my 16800s :



    For anyone wanting a taste of the life and pioneering diving work of the people who wore and essentially tested these innovative watches with their lives on the line, you may like to settle in for ten minutes with tea and a dark chocolate digestive to read :

    https://www.miltonaires.com/6309/a-m...raordinary-man

    It is often humbling to speak with these divers, many of whom led incredibly brave military lives before moving to different dangers in the North Sea and elsewhere.

    H
    A top quality post as usual Haywood, really fascinating watches you have. Their value is very much in their story.

  19. #19
    Fantastic stuff, HM

  20. #20
    Master
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    Cool stories but, they belong to the men, not the watches. It's obvious the market since long is "cornered" by a few dealer/collectors who have hoarded them, so the value is definitely overinflated. Can't see future generations being interested to the same degree either, it's more of a "national geographic"-reader generational thing.

  21. #21
    Master Reeny's Avatar
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    Someone should tell the Maritime museum that Harrisons clocks are worthless - and the story is all the man.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    Cool stories but, they belong to the men, not the watches. It's obvious the market since long is "cornered" by a few dealer/collectors who have hoarded them, so the value is definitely overinflated. Can't see future generations being interested to the same degree either, it's more of a "national geographic"-reader generational thing.
    Am surprised to see you saying that.
    Do you feel that way about all vintage Rolexes?
    I am not saying it is not a valid point of view.

  23. #23
    Master
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    hoard - vb. tr, to own or amass any item(s) for the long term, often used pejoratively by those who don't.

    There are of course many collectors who continue to value individual watches' rarity, unique features, history, provenance, quality and integral role in the astonishing lives of men who made history. Among them are many young and internationally successful individuals who appreciate interesting items and compete to obtain them. They neither fantasise that they are James Bond nor are troubled by how others perceive what they choose to spend.

    £100,000 + ? Not selling even at that price, thank you.









    The RSPCA can confirm that no monkeys were harmed in the modelling of these watches.
    Last edited by Haywood_Milton; 26th February 2020 at 11:18.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by maseman View Post
    I can also highly recommend the book "Diver" by Tony Groom a former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
    A very enjoyable read.

    maseman



    - - - Updated - - -

    I can also highly recommend the book "Diver" by Tony Groom a former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
    A very enjoyable read.

    maseman
    I can second that, a very good read indeed. My daughter used to belong to a judo club run by an ex RN Fleet Clearance Diver. He was an..."interesting" man...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    hoard - vb. tr, to own or amass any item(s) for the long term, often used pejoratively by those who don't.

    There are of course many collectors who continue to value individual watches' rarity, unique features, history, provenance, quality and integral role in the astonishing lives of men who made history. Among them are many young and internationally successful individuals who appreciate interesting items and compete to obtain them. They neither fantasise that they are James Bond nor are troubled by how others perceive what they choose to spend.

    £100,000 + ? Not selling even at that price, thank you.









    The RSPCA can confirm that no monkeys were harmed in the modelling of these watches.
    My wrist shots look similar to yours , albeit with more hair and less watches! Some great watches lobe the gmt !


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  26. #26
    Craftsman
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    I was thinking the same, wish I had the fine watches to go with my hairy wrists!

    Great insights as always, thanks for taking the time to share.

  27. #27
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    Fair comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    Cool stories but, they belong to the men, not the watches. It's obvious the market since long is "cornered" by a few dealer/collectors who have hoarded them, so the value is definitely overinflated. Can't see future generations being interested to the same degree either, it's more of a "national geographic"-reader generational thing.

    Fair comment and understand were your view is coming from. Have certainly witnessed over the past two decades the increase of ďThe StoryĒ being injected into the conversation to either maintain or increase the value of certain products. My experience is from the Art world and the modern art scene is full of great story tellers, with buyers willing to splash the cash not based on the quality of the product but on the story. The Story pretty much keeps the modern art market alive and it is in the vested parties interests to allow this, as a good story appears to deliver a good profit.

  28. #28
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    What an amazing story, thank you for sharing it.

    I did not know the significant of a Comex watch but it has certainly enlightened me

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    hoard - vb. tr, to own or amass any item(s) for the long term, often used pejoratively by those who don't.

    There are of course many collectors who continue to value individual watches' rarity, unique features, history, provenance, quality and integral role in the astonishing lives of men who made history. Among them are many young and internationally successful individuals who appreciate interesting items and compete to obtain them. They neither fantasise that they are James Bond nor are troubled by how others perceive what they choose to spend.

    £100,000 + ? Not selling even at that price, thank you.









    The RSPCA can confirm that no monkeys were harmed in the modelling of these watches.
    PUNCH IT CHEWIE!

    :)

  30. #30
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    hoard - vb. tr, to own or amass any item(s) for the long term, often used pejoratively by those who don't.

    There are of course many collectors who continue to value individual watches' rarity, unique features, history, provenance, quality and integral role in the astonishing lives of men who made history. Among them are many young and internationally successful individuals who appreciate interesting items and compete to obtain them. They neither fantasise that they are James Bond nor are troubled by how others perceive what they choose to spend.

    £100,000 + ? Not selling even at that price, thank you.









    The RSPCA can confirm that no monkeys were harmed in the modelling of these watches.
    Such posts should be in the pron section over in bear pit.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by maseman View Post
    I can also highly recommend the book "Diver" by Tony Groom a former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
    A very enjoyable read.


    maseman
    Thanks, Ian, ordered.



    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcneill View Post
    It's at watchfinder,11 years old only(thought they were a lot older?) and when you remove the comex logo on the dial and the reference number on the back it's a £10k watch..amazes me at that price but after the Newman Daytona people will say it's a bargain.
    There may be a "greater fool" somewhere down the line to buy it at a price that gives you a decent return but if you have £200k to drop on a modern steel watch, I guess you aren't too bothered!

  33. #33
    Master
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    In terms of SD's, the last of the run, (known to date) was 4 in 2004 and 4 in 2008. Whilst not 'proper' issued watches, they are very rare in their own right being the only versions with the non lug hole case and SL dial. Is one worth £195K? No. Asking isn't the same as getting. Do they deserve the attention of the collecting community? Give it another ten years or so and probably yes.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    hoard - vb. tr, to own or amass any item(s) for the long term, often used pejoratively by those who don't.

    There are of course many collectors who continue to value individual watches' rarity, unique features, history, provenance, quality and integral role in the astonishing lives of men who made history. Among them are many young and internationally successful individuals who appreciate interesting items and compete to obtain them. They neither fantasise that they are James Bond nor are troubled by how others perceive what they choose to spend.

    £100,000 + ? Not selling even at that price, thank you.









    The RSPCA can confirm that no monkeys were harmed in the modelling of these watches.

    Wow what age is this?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonRolex19 View Post
    Wow what age is this?
    The first watch :
    - military issue Submariner, mid-1970s

    The last three :
    - Bakelite bezel, gilt dial / small 24-hr hand GMT 6542
    - Submariner 6536-1 with hash-free / red-triangle bezel and two-tone printing
    - Gilt 5513 Submariner with double SWISS text and underline, presented to the owner of one of our America's Cup teams
    all fall respectively from late 1950s to early 1960s.

  36. #36
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    My mate has a comex he got when he was a subsea diver. Heís not a watch person at all but he loves his Rolex and it will eventually go to his daughter .

    A few years back I told him he should make sure itís insured and also might be best to let his daughter know itís worth a bit . He said yes he knew it was worth a lot as heíd taken it to one of those watch valuation roadshow things and theyíd offered him £3k for it !

    I pointed out he might want to get a proper valuation ( I gave him an idea what it could be ) ... heís not bothered as it isnít going anywhere

  37. #37
    Craftsman canuck's Avatar
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    As above, great reading that history and story. If anyone hasnít seen it... there is a Netflix documentary called Last Breath about saturation diving. Might be one of the most gripping things Iíve ever watched. I dare say if you enjoyed reading the above youíll love the film.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    The first watch :
    - military issue Submariner, mid-1970s

    The last three :
    - Bakelite bezel, gilt dial / small 24-hr hand GMT 6542
    - Submariner 6536-1 with hash-free / red-triangle bezel and two-tone printing
    - Gilt 5513 Submariner with double SWISS text and underline, presented to the owner of one of our America's Cup teams
    all fall respectively from late 1950s to early 1960s.
    Beautiful collection!

  39. #39
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    Thanks Haywood_milton, clicked the link and then spent about 4 hours down the rabbit hole!

  40. #40
    Journeyman
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    nice collection

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeny View Post
    Someone should tell the Maritime museum that Harrisons clocks are worthless - and the story is all the man.
    Hardly the same, the clocks are unique and important in the history of clock making. These Rolex are mass produced watches.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Hardly the same, the clocks are unique and important in the history of clock making. These Rolex are mass produced watches.
    To be fair, since we are talking about Comex SDs, 800 odd watches over a thirty year period is hardly what I would call mass produced.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    To be fair, since we are talking about Comex SDs, 800 odd watches over a thirty year period is hardly what I would call mass produced.
    Mass produced watches, with Comex stamped on the dial (or even just issued to Comex so no different to a regular watch).

    If people like them, fair enough but comparing them to Harrisons clocks is ridiculous.

  44. #44
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Mass produced watches, with Comex stamped on the dial (or even just issued to Comex so no different to a regular watch).

    If people like them, fair enough but comparing them to Harrisons clocks is ridiculous.
    This.

    Obviously anything is worth what people will pay for something, but when the difference is just some ink on a dial, it baffles me...

    The whole history of diving is very interesting to me, but I don't buy into the Comex Rolex mythology, but equally I wouldn't pay millions for a watch worn briefly by an actor...

    M

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  45. #45
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    A wealthy Walts wet dream, a bloody good read by the way
    Last edited by number2; 2nd March 2020 at 06:04.
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